The executor of a will has a lot of work to do. Much of it needs to be done quickly. It can be an overwhelming job for people who are not prepared to do it and who have never been executors before.
However, the job can also be relatively simple, if newly appointed executors keep a few basic things in mind.
Recently, the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog offered some tips for new executors in "Top 5 Things to Remember if You're the Executor," including:
- If you do not know what you are doing, then hire a professional estate attorney who can help you. Let the attorney worry about what needs to be done and when. The attorney can make sure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.
- As soon as you possibly can, get a copy of the death certificate. This will allow you to make your status as executor official with the probate court.
- Make sure you are casting a wide net and getting everything that possibly needs to be included in an estate. Do not just rely on what the will says, but check around for other assets and liabilities.
- Let everyone know that you are the executor. In some states, you are legally required to tell certain people and entities. Those are something that an estate attorney can help you with.
- Get assistance from tax professionals to file a final tax return.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (July 27, 2017) "Top 5 Things to Remember if You're the Executor."